Clearing Customs, Redux

EurasiaNet just picked up the story I flagged yesterday about a Russian shipment bound for Iran’s Bushehr reactor being held up by Azerbaijan customs. Apparently I’m not alone in believing that the incident has more to do with behind the scenes intrigue than with the lack of proper shipping documents. And while the possibility of American involvement in the seizure is advanced, the article points out that the Russians, too, might have an interest in keeping one foot on the brake while the other hits the gas when it comes to Iran’s nuclear program. Iran, after keeping a low profile for the past few weeks, has now raised the heat on Azerbaijan. But the consensus seems to be that given Russia’s and Iran’s dependence on Azerbaijan as a transit territory, Baku (and whoever’s behind the seizure) is in the driver’s seat.

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